In Advertising, Persistence Wins the Day
El burro coge—one of the crudest phrases in Spanish—holds the key to getting results



Real story: I have this friend (who shall remain very anonymous). Beautiful, smart, funny, she had a ton of guys after her, of course. There was one, let’s call him Bobby, whom no one liked. We all said “too young,” “too immature,” “not a professional,” “not wealthy.” Even my friend had to recognize she didn’t like him all that much at the beginning.

But he was always there. He took her to lunch (or breakfast or dinner), took her on fun dates, supported her on her really bad days and brought her little gifts. Little by little, Bobby became part of her life. Now? You guessed it! They live in a beautiful New York apartment and are raising two beautiful kids.




From Women to Advertising


Prior to 1991 we all believed in “effective frequency”—that magical number after which a message somehow “became effective” and caused persuasion. In 1991 John Phillip Jones published his seminal “When Ads Work” and turned media on its head.

Using a huge amount of data, Jones proved that the first message was, by far, the most effective in achieving results. The second message was less effective and messages three, four and subsequent were basically useless. He showed how brand share increased an average of 11 percent by one (continuous) exposure the week before purchases and only 14 percent by all exposures. Since each of the other exposures cost the same, you get the picture. Then he showed how successful brands (he called them Alpha brands) had both, a greater continuity and an aggressive SOV/SOM ratio. Continuity worked, frequency did not.

Soon, Erwin Ephrom followed with his Recency Theory—proving once again that the most effective communication was the one previous to a purchasing decision—and even Colin McDonald, the father of the “3+” had to write an article apologizing for the creation of 3+.

Today, we have dozens more channels that JP Jones could have ever imagined. Continuity/recency is more relevant and important than ever: it is important to reach our consumer before a purchasing decision is made and even more important to affect ALL purchasing decisions before they are made.

When I moved to Argentina with McCann-Erickson I went to visit our L’Oreal client. The head of marketing told me that the company had decided to spend about 30 percent of their entire year’s budget in a four-week period (for the techies, four weeks @ 400 W/GRP). When I pointed out that women did not gang up on shampoo purchases but rather spaced their purchases throughout the year replacing bottles as they got empty, he got really annoyed. However: four Elseve versions, which used a “pulse” strategy, had a joint 6.6 point SOM; Sedal, Unilever’s best-seller, which advertises continuously through the year, had a 22 percent SOM. Admittedly this is an over-simplification, but, considering how most of us buy products, it’s a sensible strategy.





From Advertising to Donkeys


The phrase, “El burro coge por persistente, no por bonito,” which means “the donkey ‘gets the girl’ by being persistent, not by being pretty” applies to real life. It also applies to advertising.

Marcelo Salup‘s 30-plus-year career in advertising covers a wide range of everything. A wide range of roles–he began his career on the creative side, won two Addies, changed to media, included strategic planning and consumer insight and has been an agency owner several times. A wide range of venues: Spain, Latin America, international and the U.S. A wide range of clients that range from automotive to banking to electronics to fast food to soft drinks and much more. But can be summed up in four words “Only Performance is Real.” Today he is “Left Brain” at Montaño + Salup Communications




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